02 May 2011

How the U.K. Views Americans

Sometimes, the best way to understand how another group of people perceives you is to watch portrayals in popular media. It's there where people let slip what they actually think.

As a fan of science fiction, I've been watching the new season of Doctor Who. Consequently, I've seen a couple scenes which might give a clue as to what the folks living on the islands on the other side of the Atlantic think about us.

[For those of you who don't know, the Doctor is an alien who moves through time and space fighting evil aliens and solving problems. He usually travels with two or three humans.]

Scene One:

The Doctor has snuck into the Oval Office and is seated in the president's seat. About 10 Secret Service agents are standing with their pistols pointed at him. The Doctor is sitting there smugly saying something to the effect of, "Really? I just snuck into the most secure room in the world and you think you are going to shoot me?" At this point, one of the Doctor's companions (who has been watching) runs into the room shouting "They're Americans!!" The Doctor jumps out of the seat and says nervously, "Don't shoot! Definitely, don't shoot!"

Scene Two:

An American FBI agent is facing down an alien and asks it if it is armed. The alien answers back in an ominous tone, "We have manipulated you since fire and wheel. We need no weapons."

At that, the FBI agent draws his pistol and guns the alien down.


Somehow, I'm getting the impression that we might be seen as a little gun happy.


J. Martelino, Jr. said...

I have visited Europe. An European policeman is much more likely to walk around with his machine gun/machine pistol while patrolling, compared with an American policeman.

Matt B said...

That's certainly true. And many European police seem to face far fewer restriction on the use of force than our own. But perceptions don't necessarily have anything to do with reality, and I think many of them do see as as trigger-happy cowboys. Which isn't necessarily such a bad thing, in my view.

Matt B said...

Geez. Sorry for the typos. That was "restrictionS" and "see US as"....

James Moylan said...

Oh? And I wonder why?
Could it have something to do with about 38000 people a year dying from gunshot wounds in your country?
I'm nearly fifty and I've never seen a gun brandished in public by an Australian citizen and I'm not a shrinking violet with a closeted history.
other countries see you as a bunch of gun happy loons because, in the main, you are a bunch of gun happy loons.

Anonymous said...

Well, pookie, I AM fifty and I've never seen a gun brandished in public by an American citizen. AND I live in the South, in a concealed carry state. We have a saying here: An armed society is a polite society.

Anonymous said...

Don't be so ignorant, James.